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Want To Lose Weight? Here Are 5 Critical Stepping Stones

It is essential to understand that you can lose weight by reducing your daily calorie consumption and increasing your daily expenditure of calories by doing more exercise. There is no magic pill that will lose the weight for you, and, just dieting alone is not sufficient to enable much weight reduction. You need to boost your metabolism to burn more calories and the only real way is to do more exercise. It does not matter what exercise you do, at least to start with, but you need to do some.

Walking, jogging, step-ups, dancing, cycling, tennis, and swimming, are all ways of doing aerobic exercise which will help increase your metabolic rate and burn calories. If you do this and, at the same time reduce your daily calories by, say 3-400 per day you will gradually lose weight. You must not expect to lose weight rapidly – it does take time.
The following are some practical hints on achieving weight loss:

•1. It is up to you to make it happen.

Although friends and family can help and encourage you, it's your own strength of will that will allow you to succeed. Keep yourself motivated by seeing yourself in your mind's eye as a new slimmer person, or the slimmer person that you used to be before gaining weight. This is a simple but effective psychological trick called visualisation and can help you stay motivated. You look forward and work towards becoming the person you want to be.

•2. Find a diet that can work for you and stick to it.

A properly worked out reputable diet plan will enable you to lose weight provided you give it a chance. Avoid fad diets or diets that are too restrictive, or diets that rely on pills or special meals. None of these are necessary. You simply need to reduce total calorie input, and this can be done by cutting back on either fats or carbohydrates, or both. The diet of Mediterranean people is considered healthy by most, incorporating lean protein from meat and fish, unrefined carbohydrates, unsaturated and mono-saturated fats, and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

•The South Beach diet is an example of this type of low carbohydrate diet, but a simple way to achieve a similar result is simply to cut out refined carbohydrates such as biscuits, cakes, ready-prepared meals, pastry, crisps, and junk foods, replacing them with unrefined carbohydrates from whole grain breads and pasta, but cutting down on the total daily amount eaten.

•3. Don't skip breakfast, otherwise you can develop hunger pangs mid-morning and be tempted to eat a snack which may be full of calories.

Also, by having breakfast first thing, you give a kick-start to your metabolism which has been dormant all night. Have a breakfast of complex carbohydrates such as oats, with fresh fruit such as blueberries, orange segments or strawberries, or else a protein biased breakfast such as a boiled egg with some wholemeal toast. Try to confine your carbohydrates to unrefined or complex types wherever possible.

•4. As you gradually lose weight, you should keep the momentum going by looking for ways to increase the amount of exercise you do, such as walking upstairs rather than taking the lift at work. Also, maintain a healthy and varied diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, which consists of lean meat and fish for protein, fresh fruit and vegetables for fibre, vitamins and minerals, plus healthy fats as in olive oil

•5. You should drink plenty of water each day to avoid dehydration which could lower the efficiency of all the body's systems and processes.

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